Vive la chimie: Ten years of DACHSER Chem-Logistics in France

Chemical products are everywhere in everyday life: soaps and laundry detergents, cosmetics, paints and inks, and even glues and adhesives. Then there are fine and special chemicals. They all play a key role for France, which in terms of revenue has Europe’s second-largest chemical industry. “Vive la chimie” also applies to DACHSER Chem-Logistics, which was celebrating ten years in France last year. In that time, the industry solution has secured a strong position in the groupage transport market for France’s chemical industry.

Bruno Guillard, Corporate Business Development Manager France & Maghreb, DACHSER Chem-Logistics and Michael Kriegel, Department Head DACHSER Chem-Logistics

Paul Sabatier, Henri Moissan, Emmanuelle Charpentier, and more—France’s ten Nobel Prizes in Chemistry to date are testament to the global significance of the country’s chemical industry. Generating EUR 74 billion in revenue (2019), France’s chemical industry is second only to Germany’s in Europe and is its fourth largest industrial sector according to domestic R&D expenditure. In the past decade, annual growth averaged 2.1 percent. “As one of the strongest export industries, France’s chemical industry benefits from the increasing connectivity of Europe’s groupage transports. Over the past ten years, we’ve almost quadrupled the annual number of chemical export shipments from France to Germany, and tonnage has more than doubled in the same period,” says Michael Kriegel, Department Head DACHSER Chem-Logistics. After ten years in the French market, the logistics industry solution has generated over EUR 70 million in revenue. For DACHSER, this is another success story that can be traced back in part to its consistent export strategy within the integrated European overland transport network. “The combination of network standards, two central dangerous goods teams, over 250 regional dangerous goods safety advisors worldwide, and an understanding of the specific requirements of France’s chemical companies has clearly struck a chord in this dynamic growth sector,” Kriegel continues.

Demand for chemical logistics networks

“Logistics networks with expertise in chemicals have become a major asset—especially in France, which has various chemical industry hubs spread throughout the country, in particular around Lyon and Marseille,” says Bruno Guillard, Corporate Business Development Manager France & Maghreb, DACHSER Chem-Logistics. “International chemical groups active in France are also looking for logistics providers with SQAS certification.” Two DACHSER locations in France have been evaluated for Safety and Quality Assessment for Sustainability certification by the European Chemical Industry Council (CEFIC). “The highly developed chemical logistics infrastructure along the Franco-German border is also very important,” Guillard continues. He points out that this applies to the traditional chemical industry production hubs along the Rhine as well as to DACHSER’s new hazardous materials warehouse in Malsch near Karlsruhe, Germany. Opened in 2019, this state-of-the-art facility provides up to three levels of storage for intermediate bulk containers (IBC), each of which holds 1,000 liters of liquid. The new facility augments the DACHSER network of specially equipped warehouses in southwest Germany. The scope of services for chemical customers includes distribution as well as procurement logistics and customer-specific solutions as part of contract logistics.

The rise of DACHSER Chem-Logistics in France is a perfect example of the strong growth in the chemical logistics sector. This all hinges on the expertise to manage the sector’s special tasks. “In particular, this calls for highly qualified employees with the latest expert knowledge—especially when it comes to dangerous goods—as well as the ability to anticipate changes and respond to them flexibly. It is essential that we provide employees with training opportunities to keep the process and product knowledge at each location ‘à jour’,” Kriegel says.

DACHSER Chem-Logistics has also provided valuable network and dangerous goods expertise during the coronavirus pandemic. This applies especially to the challenges that arise when different countries ramp up and curtail their economic activities in different ways and at different times. If supply chains have to be reconfigured, chemical companies can depend on an efficient and flexible logistics network. And DACHSER Chem-Logistics will continue to serve these supply chains and keep France’s widely distributed chemical industry closely connected to European markets.

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